Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) has introduced a House Resolution (H. Res. 116) that recognizes the benefits of vitamin D intake for preventing respiratory infection and COVID–19 complications, and encourages the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue guidance on vitamin D intake for elderly and immunocompromised individuals during the ongoing pandemic.
The resolution details expert support for the benefits of vitamin D, including an overview of research suggesting D’s benefits, as well as an open letter signed by 120 health, science, and medical experts from the UK, U.S., and Europe that was sent in December 2020 to world governments asserting that there is clear scientific evidence that vitamin D reduces COVID–19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The resolution also notes that over 40% of American adults are vitamin D deficient, with deficiency rates within African-American and Latino populations ranging from 70% to 80%.
“During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, the world was in need of a treatment for this virus while we awaited a safe, effective vaccine,” said Congressman Grothman in a press release. “While we now have vaccines to prevent COVID-19, not everyone has access to them yet, there are two existing COVID variants we know of, and people are still dying from the illness every day. We have been told to listen to the science regarding COVID-19 since its inception. Now, 120 doctors from several of the world’s most prestigious medical institutions concur that there is overwhelming evidence that vitamin D can be effective in decreasing the severity of COVID-19, but our government’s top public health agencies still have not pursued this credible lead. The unwillingness of these agencies to investigate this lead has undoubtedly cost many lives. I once again call on the CDC, FDA, and NIH to study the connection between vitamin D deficiencies and COVID-19 and let the public know how this could help them in our fight against the virus, just as they have with other prevention methods during the pandemic.
“If passed,” Congressman Grothman continued, “my resolution will unite the voice of the House of Representatives in the search for additional ways to limit the negative effects of COVID-19 and hopefully encourage our public health establishment to issue much-needed guidance as to truly how effective vitamin D can be in preventing serious symptoms, complications, or death from the coronavirus.”
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) applauded the resolution. “CRN commends Congressman Grothman for introducing a proposal before Congress that will focus public attention and promote consumer awareness on how vitamin D can help limit the negative effects of COVID-19,” said Julia Gustafson, Vice President, Government Relations, CRN. “Our members have long recognized the importance of vitamin D supplementation, as this essential nutrient is critical to overall health at all life stages. CRN joins Congressman Grothman in urging public health establishments to issue guidance about the benefits of vitamin D supplementation and the role it may play in reducing the risk of serious COVID-19 symptoms and complications.”
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CRN is working to help educate on vitamin D. In September 2020, the association formed a Vitamin D Study Task Force to develop and evaluate scientific content for a forthcoming consumer education program featuring consumer-friendly content, such as research summaries, podcasts, and articles to provide more education on the topic of vitamin D and COVID-19. CRN also encouraged consumers to have their serum vitamin D levels checked, and to consult with their healthcare providers about the role vitamin D supplementation plays in both their overall health and wellness regimen, and the potential D can play in decreasing the severity of COVID-19.”